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A Comparison of the Conduct of the Ancient Jews, and of the Anti federalists in the United States of America.
A Zealous advocate for the proposed Feieral Cos!. stitution in a certain public assembly said, that “tho repugnance of great part of mankind to goox govern mei:t was such, that he believed that if an angel from heaven was to bring down à constitution formed there for our use, it would nevertheless mect with violent opposition.”-He was reproved for the sun posed extravagance of the sentiment; and he dini sot justify il.-Probably it might not have immediately occuired to him, that the experiment had beeil triel, and that the event was recorded in the most faithful of all histories, the Holy Bible; otherwise he might as it seems to nie, have supported his opinion by thai unexceptionable authority.
The Supreme being had been pleased to yorirish up a single family, by continued acts of his attentive providence, until it became a great people. anıt having rescued them froin bondage by many miracles performed by his servant Moses, he personaily die. livered to that chosen servant, in presence of the whole nation, acoustitution and coule of laws for their observance; accompanied and sanction with promises of great rewards, and threats of severe punishments, as the consequence of their obedienice or disoliediei:ca.
This coustitution, though the Deity himself was in be at its head (and it is therefore called by political writers a th:eocracy). could not be carried into execu
jon but by means of his mnjajsters: Aaron and his Bol, were commissioned to he, with Moses, the first established mjuistry of the new government.
One would have thought, that the appointment of men, who had distinguished themselves in procuring the liberty of their natim, and had lazarilei' their lives in openly opposing the will of a powerful 10. narch who woud have retained that nation in sla: very,“migl. s have bcen an' appointment acceptable to
a grateful people, and that a constitution framed for them by the Deity himself, might on that account have Leeo secure of an universal welcome reception Yet there were, in every one of the thirteen iriles, some discontented, restless spirits, who were continu aliy exciting thein to reject the proposed new government, and this from various morives.
Many still retained an affection for Egypt, the land of their nativity; and these, whenever they felt any nconvenience or hardship, though the natural and unavoidable effect of their change of situation, ex: claimed against their leaders as the authors of their trouble: and were not only for retuming into Egypt, but for stoning their deliverers.* Those inclined to idolatry were displeased that their golden caif was destroyed. Many of the chiefs thought the new constitution might be injurious to their particular interests, that the profitable places would be engrossed by the fumilies and friends of Moses and Aaron, ai:d others equally well born excluded.t-In Josephus, and the Talmud, we learn some particulars, not so fully parrated in the Scripiury. We are there told, " that Korah was ambitious of the priesthood; and offended that it was conferred on Aaron ; and this, as he said, by the authority of Moses only, without the consent of the people. He accused Moses of hav. ing, by various artificers, fraudulently obtained the government, and deprived the people of their liber. ties; and of conspiring with Aaron to perpetuate the tyranny in their fainily. Thus, though Korah's real motive was the supplanting of Aaron, he persuaded the people that he meart only the public gooxl: and they, moved by his insinuations, began to cry out,Let us maintain the coinmon liberty of our respece iwe tribes; we have freed ourselves from the slavery
Number, cbap. xiv.
Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 3. "Ans they rathered themselves copasher against Moses and against Aaron, and suid unto them, Ye take too muab upon you, being all the congregation are holy. every one of them, wherefore then lin ye up yourseires abun the congregation po
imposed upon us by the Egyptians, and shall we * suffer ourselves to be nade slaves by Moses? If we must have a master it were better to return to Pha''. raoh, who at least ied us with bread and onions, than Lo servo this nicy tyrant, who by his operations has brought us ints danger of famine.' Then they called in question che reality of his conferences with God;
and obipled to the privacy of the inecting, and the i prevesting any of the people from being present at
line coiloquies, or even approaching the place, as
rounds of great suspicion.' "Tvey accused Moses al. so of peculation; as embezzling part of the golden epoons and the silver chargers, ihat the princes had offered at the dedication of the altar,* and the offer. ings of gold by the conmon people,t as well as most of the poll-tax;t and Aaron they accused of pocketing nucia of the gold of which he pretended to have made a inolten calf Besides peculation, they charg. ed Moses with a.nbition; to gratify which passion, he had, they said, deceived the people, by promising to bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey: instead of doing wnich, he had brought them from such a land; and that he thought light of all this mischicf, provided he could inake hiinself an absolute price. That to support the new dignity with splendour in his family, the parjal poll-tax already levied and given to Aaron;was to be followed by a ge. neralone, ** which would probably be augniented from uime to time, if he were suffered to go on promulgat. mg new laws on pretence of new occasional revela. ions of the Divine will, till their whole fortunes were devoured by that aristocracy."
•Numbers, chap. vii.
11 Nimtown, char. Ir. rer. 13. “Is it a small thing that thou hast bronght us up out of a land nowing with inili aod honey, :o gill. un in this villa sen, ereept tba: thou make thyself altogether Nince over us !" 1 Niroban, ebap. i.
•* Exodus, chap. 218
Moses denied the charge of peculation; and his is accusers were destitute of prook to support it ;
though facts, if rcal, are in their naure capable of proof. I have noi," said he (with hols confidence in the presence of God, “I have not taken from this people the value of an ass, nor done hem aitz other injury." But his enemies had made the charge, und with soine success aniong the populace; hrno kita of accusation is su readily madc, or easily inlieved. by knaves, as the accusation of knavery.
In fine, no less than two hundred and fifty of la principal men, “ fancus in the congregatior., meu of renown,'t heading and exciting the mob, worked them up to such a pitch of frenzy, that they called Out, Stone 'em, stone 'em, and thereby secure our liberties, and let us chose other captair:s, that they may lead us back into Egypt, in case we do not suic. Cueu a reducing the Canaanites.. On the whole, it appears that the Israelites were a
f their new-acquired liberty, which ir jealousy was in itself no fault: but that, wher they -"'* suffered it to be worked upon by artful men, pretendi. Ching public good, with nothing really in view bus
Ivað interest, they were led to oppose the establish ment of the new constitution, whereby they broughs upon themselves much inconvenience and misfortune li facther appears from the same inestimable history, that when, after many ages, the constitution had become old and much abuser), and an amendment of it was proposed, the populace, as they had accused Moses of the avibition of making himself a prince, and cried out, Stone bim, stone him ; so, excited by
jheir high priests and scribes, they exclaimed : against the Messiah, that he aimed at beconing Ti king of the Jews, and cried, Crucify him, crucify · nim. From all which we may gather, that populas
opposition to a public measure is no prcof of its im propriety, even though the opposition be excited and headed by men of distinction.
• Number, chap. ML
To conclude, I beg I may not be understood to infer, that our general covention was divinely inspired when it forined the new federal constitution, merely because that constitution has been unreasonably and vehemently opposed; yet I inust own, I have no much faith in the general government of the world by Providence, tha: I can hardly conceive a trar.santion of such momentous importance to the welfare of mit lions now existing, and to exist ir: the posterity of a great nation, should be suffered to pass without being
in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneicent Ruler, in whom all inferior spirits live, and move, and have their being.
THOUGH Britain bestows more attention to trade then any other nation, and though it be the general opinion, that the safety of their state depends uron her navy alone; yet it seems not a little extraordinary,. that most of the great iniprovements in ship-building have originated abroad. The best sailing vessels in the royal navy have in general been French prizes. . This, though it may admit of exceptions, carinot be * apon the wiole discuted. *Nor is Britain eritirely inattentive to naval archi ecture; though it is no where scientifically taught, and those who devise improvements have seldon an opportunity of bringing them into practice. What a pity it is, that no contrivance should be adopted, for : concentrating the knowledge that different individu als altain in this art, into one cominon focus, if the expression may be admitted. Our endeavours shall not be wanting, to collect together, in the best way we can, the scattered hints that shall occur under this bend, pot doubting but the public will receive witte